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Sunday, 24 February 2013

My Greatest PokerStars Moment - plus many more to come!

Another Great WBCOOP
The cards didn't make me sick, I think it was the chicken!

I got a message today from a friend on Skype wondering why he didn't see a WBCOOP update from me in the last few days. Well there was two main reasons for that, the first being that I've been crazy busy trying to get some projects done and the second reason is that the whole family has a stomach bug over the last couple of days and anyone that has small children will tell you that's not a pretty thing.

Don't know about the kids, but I thought the book was great!
I still managed to get in some 'good deeds' though and on Thursday I volunteered to help out at the local school for World Book Day. All the kids were dressed up as their favourite book character and I read a story to them about the 'Lazy Ladybird', quite a good book it was too.

On Friday I gave small donation to the local 'Meals on Wheels' who provide and excellent service to the elderly and those less fortunate. On Saturday the kids had no school of course and I wanted to spend some time with them so I took them to the local park and got them involved in a mini clean-up which basically meant I gave them gloves and a plastic bag and got them to pick on some papers that were scattered around and put them in the bin. Sunday and today (Monday) were complete right-off's for good deeds as the dreaded stomach bug took over.

Poker-wise I played some WBCOOP games in the evenings and happy to say the cards were good to me winning a $16.50 SCOOP ticket in Event 30 when I finished 26th out of 516 players. I also cashed in today's WBCOOP Main Event for a $9.50 prize when I placed 110th out of 1009 players.

To sumarise the last week or so I'd have to say that I really enjoyed it and each day brought a new challenge and adventure. This years WBCOOP has also rekindled my passion for blogging which was beginning to fade over the last few months. I'll hopefully keep this blog updated at least once a week and I'll post about updates on Twitter @TheRoyalRaiser, I might even try my hand at some video-blogging, who knows!

So thank you PokerStars for the bankroll boost and another very enjoyable series and best of luck to all who took part and gave it their best shot, there's some great entries this year and when the winners are announced remember to take the time to congratulate them, they deserve it!

Just around the corner is the MicroMillions, see you at the tables!


Wednesday, March 6th -
Early Exit

Didn't have a great day at the tables today and took an early exit in the Triple Stud game. It's hard to believe we are half way through the week already but it's been great fun so far and I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's Fixed Limit Holdem game, a 6-max tournament that should be right up my street and hopefully I'll bag another SCOOP ticket from it.

Pride of Place
The local school got my attention again for today's 'nice thing to do'. They needed a few parents to help out with planting some trees around the school. They are entering the local 'Pride of Place for Schools' competition and everyone is chipping in trying to get the place in tip-top shape. I'm back at the school tomorrow too to help out with another project.

Wednesday night is music night for me so when all the poker playing and planting was done it was time to relax with the lads down in the local and entertain the punters with a few tunes. We playing an accoustic set every Wednesday night in Beggy's Bar in Navan and if your ever visit Ireland put Navan on your list of stop overs. It's a very welcoming town with lots to see and do and if you make it on a Wednesday night drop in to us in Beggy's and I'll buy you a pint of Guinness!

Today's Special Mention
I was reading through some of the blogs at PokerSchoolOnline and came across this entry by '73Rex73'. It was great to read how how he enjoyed making it all the way to a Sunday Million from just $3 that he won in the PokerSchoolOnline leagues, it can happen folks! Why not drop by his blog and leave him a comment.

Chat tomorrow folks!


Tuesday, March 5th -
Spring is in the Air

I took a break from the poker tables today. The weather over here in Ireland has been particularly kind over the last few days and there's a real feel of 'Springness' in the air. The kids got home from school and we decided to take a walk in the local park for an hour. It was great to get out in the fresh air, hear the birds chirping and see all the daffodils that seems to be popping up everywhere and also great to have some quality family time.

Now with my batteries recharged I might take on two WBCOOP games tomorrow (Wed) while also grinding out some 6-max 10NL tables. In February I managed to hit SilverStar status for the first time ever and I want to target it again for March. I know there's a 'Heads-Up' game on the WBCOOP schedule for tomorrow and I'll give that one a try although heads-up poker isn't my strongest game. If any of you that are reading this enjoy heads-up games then you'll definitely be interested in the Haxton Happy Hours promotion that PokerStars are running at the moment and should check it out, It's seems like a great way to earn a lot of extra VIP Bonus points.

Today's Good Deed

Today I just made a simple donation to the local Enable Ireland charity shop. It was nothing huge but the staff in the shop were really appreciated it none the less. Enable Ireland are a fantastic organisation that work with people with disabilities. Check out the link to their website to find out more about them and maybe even you can help out in a small way. 

Making a Donation to Foluke from Enable Ireland

Today's Special Mention

'RolandGTX' is a fellow poker blogger on Blogspot and also a PokerSchoolOnline member like myself. You'll enjoy reading his entry to the WBCOOP and why not drop by and give him an encouraging comment!

Back tomorrow for more fun and games when I'll bump into some of you at the tables and I'm back in the school to help out with another gardening project!


Monday, March 4th -

Blood Sweat & Cheers

Today didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped however it wasn't a complete disaster. Sometimes we just got to accept that our plans ain't going to work out and just go with the flow. It started off with the best of intentions, I got up went through my usual routine and got a few jobs done, then I fired up PokerStars to play a little 6-max. I was keeping an eye on the banner in the client that was announcing the milestone hands and saw that the 95th Billionth hand was fast approaching. 

It didn't take long before it came around and I went to the table to observe. It was a real sweat for one player from Hungary who got disconnected and a real joy for another player 'RichB17' from the UK who won the hand and a cool $26,000 ... now that's what I call a pay day. Everyone at the table received at least $10,000 and congrats to all, it was a great end to a great promotion and already I'm looking forward to the 100th Billlon countdown.

Today's Good Deed

As I was watching the hand been played out I had the local radio on in the backround and I over-heard them saying that the blood donor clinic was open in a town called Drogheda, about 30KM from where I live. I though that that would be a cool ideal for the good deed and so I looked up the bus timetable and sure enough it said that there were buses over and back for the times I was looking for so off I went. When I hopped off the bus I jumped into the first taxi on the rank and asked him to take me to the hotel where GiveBlood.Ie clinic was been held. The driver was a guy called Larry and he was a really nice guy. He dropped me off,  I got his card from him and told him that I would call him when I was done and get a ride back to the bus station for my return trip.

So far so good, the day was going well. I arrived early at the clinic and was lucky with that as a big crowd turned out and I was very surprised with how many people were actually donating, it was encouraging to see. The process from registration to needle-prick took about two hours and when I was done I called Larry who promptly arrived and took me back to the Bus Station. When I looked up the time table online earlier it said that the return bus didn't depart until 19:20 so I had about 20 mins to kill. I walked to the garage across the road and bought a takeaway coffee and when I got back to the station I saw that a cue was already forming. This is when things went a little pear-shaped for me.

'Bus to Navan', I said with a confident nod of approval to one of the guys in the cue. 'No, Dundalk' he said! My jaw dropped, there were no other cues, nobody else waiting for another bus. Quickly I went over to the timetable on the wall and looked up the last bus to Navan. - Departs 18:20 - Oh no, I've got this very wrong. There I was, stranded in a bus depot that had no bus for my needs, my mistake not theirs, I was left with only one option. I reached into my wallet, picked out the business card again and dialed the number one final time, 'Larry are you there?'. Thankfully I got this guy earlier, he was a really nice bloke and very helpful. We chatted as he drove me home and he was telling me that outside of work he enjoys playing music and signing folk songs and ballads. 

The journey home brings us through some country-side rich in historical value including the Hill of Slane where the High Kings of Ireland hung-out and also the Boyne Valley which is famous for the great 'Battle of the Boyne' of 1690. It seemed that every turn we went around Larry had some local knowledge about and we had a really interesting conversation. I got home safe, maybe a little poorer in my pocket but richer in knowledge and you know, it wasn't the end of the world, sometimes plans just don't work out and you gotta adjust to them. Cheers to Larry, you really helped me out and cheered me up along the way!

Today's Special Mention

Here's a blog from PokerSchoolOnline member '85FastLane' that I enjoyed reading and you should check out. There really are tons of great entries this year.

Back tomorrow for more WBCOOP fun!


Sunday, March 3rd -

Thanks to 'talonchick'

Tonight's game was PLO8, not a game I play at all but I've have a basic understanding of it and this is thanks in no small way to a very special lady by the name of Adrienne Rowsome, aka 'talonchick'. The PLO8 game is 'talonchicks' bread and butter game and a few weeks back she started a thread all about PLO8 Strategy and basic concepts in the Forum at PokerSchoolOnline. I must have read that thread 20 times over while I was playing tonight.

There was an added bonus in that both 'talonchick' and another Team Online player Tyler 'frosty012' Frost were playing in the game tonight. I think that's one of the most amazing things about the WBCOOP games is that small micro-stake players like myself get the opportunity to mix it at the tables with the Pros.

Thanks for the Tips Talonchick!
One thing I was a little disappointed with though was the number of players sitting out at my table. If you are going to register for a tournament then at least play the darn thing unless of course an emergency pops-up which happens and is perfectly understandable. One of the players sitting out at my table finished in 109th with 108 places paid so he became the bubble boy. What a wasted opportunity to turn a freeroll ticket into something of value and how sick will he be when he sees the results. There were a total of 286 runners in the game and thanks to 'talonchicks' solid advice I managed to finish 70th in the end and win an $11 SCOOP ticket with which I'm absolutely thrilled with.

Today's Good Deed

I didn't do a good deed today, but I did sign-up for one taking place on April 26th in my local Nightclub, a place I frequent all too often. It's a 'Shave or Dye' charity event to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, a really worthy cause. The Wife doesn't know about it yet and on both the 27th and 28th we have some family outings to go to. She's not going to be happy when she finds out that I'll be going to these events with either no hair or hair that's dyed a crazy colour. So what should I do? Why don't you decide! Tweet me @theroyalraiser using the hashtag #shaveordye and the one that's gets the most votes I'll do!

Tweet me @theroyalraiser with YOUR vote!

Today's Special Mention

Here's an entry that caught my eye from PokerSchoolOnline member 'EvokeNZ' and it's well worth a read. Evoke is a regular blogger and all round good guy from New Zealand.

Best Moment On PokerStars by EvokeNZ

Back tomorrow for more adventures!



Saturday, March 2nd -

I've got four alarms clocks in my house, they're called children and on Saturday mornings they all go off at 8am sharp. The thing is with these alarm clocks there is no switch to turn them off and you just gotta get up and go it with. Sitting here now as I start writing this entry I have a small glass of wine in front of me as it's now 2.20am and this is a small night-cap while I reflect on a hectic but great day.

The weather outside had a spring feel to it and was dry which is rare lately in Ireland so I decided to mow the grass out side and generally tidy the place up a little bit. Gardens get neglected during the winter months, at least mine does and it was due some tender care. As I mowed, strimmed and weeded outside my better half busied herself inside the house generally spring cleaning, cleaning out wardrobes, cupboards and so on. It was when she was doing this that I thought of an idea for today's 'good deed'. 

There was a pile of good clothes that I knew I probably wouldn't wear again but yet they were still too good to throw out. Also there was decent already read books and other articles that probably wouldn't see the light of day in our house if they were returned to a cupboard so I gathered them all up and took them down to one of the local Oxfam charity shops. While I was there I bought some other books and if I had my way I would have come home with more stuff then I dropped down in the first place but thankfully the wife was beside me to keep me in check.

Outside The Oxfam Shop Today!
Therapy After 8-Game

Played my 2nd WBCOOP tournament tonight, Event 6 which was 8-Game, boy, if you don't know what you are doing then that game can really fry your head. When the tournament started I have no problem with admitting that I had another window with You-Tube open frantically searching for short 'learning' videos to help me out. Thankfully there were plenty of them and the PokerStars You-Tube Channel has tons of great videos if you want to check them out. Here's one for example on Stud poker.

Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer Explain Stud

So that's how I spent the first 55-mins of the tournament. I felt like a schoolkid trying to cram in all the study the night before the exam. At the restart I decided to open a couple of 6-Max 10NL tables because for one, it helps me to concentrate as I lose a little focus if I'm playing just one table and also I wanted to keep myself in with a shout at the 'other' great promotion that PokerStars are running at the moment, the 'Road To 95 Billion' milestone hand. I reckon that it's going to hit pretty soon, with in the next day or two I guess.

The finale of the 8-Game for me was an exciting one. You know when you watch that movie and the hero just makes it through the door before it shuts tight, well that's how I felt coming close to the bubble. I could see myself being shut out but with a last desperate lunge I made it through the bubble and bagged a $5.50 SCOOP ticket. Here's a hand where we were 12 spots away from the prizes and I got dealt with what I thought was a good Omaha hand, too good to fold so I made my mind up that I was going for it and if I got beat, so be it.

Thankfully it went my way!

Todays' special mention goes to a blog I read from PokerSchoolOnline member 'PhyscoVas' and you can read it here, it's well worth a look.

Best Moment On PokerStars by PhyscoVas

Tomorrows a big day for PokerStars also as they celebrate the 7th anniversary of the Sunday Million so I raise my glass and say 'Happy Annivesary' and good luck to all who enter it, should be a mega-event!



Friday, March 1st -

Now that was a busy day and I'm pretty whacked so this will be a short enough entry tonight. Just finished playing my opening game of this's years WBCOOP in Event #3, the Badugi game. Unfortunately the cards didn't fall for me on this one and I got pretty much crippled after this hand.

It's not the end of the world though by any stretch and there's plenty more games to come during the week.

Today's Good Deed

As I said in my opening post for this years WBCOOP I am going to try and do one simple 'good deed' for each day that the games are going on. Today's one was easy enough. It was 'Green Day' in the local school and they were looking for some volunteers to lend a hand for a couple of hours. I have four children in the school so I would have helped out regardless of the WBCOOP. The day was all about teaching the kids about the environment and  I helped out starting work on the new 'Sensory Garden' at the school.

The Children Lined Up To Watch The Mini-Digger Today

If you don't know what a sensory garden is then it's basically an outdoor classroom/garden where the kids can see, touch and smell the flowers and plants. It will take a few weeks to get it finished but we got the foundations in place today. The highlight of the day for the kids though was watching Kenny on the mini-digger, they were fascinated by that especially the boys, tractors over flowers anyday!

Kenny & Myself Laying Foundations For The Sensory Garden

Been reading through the WBCOOP blogs at PokerSchoolOnline and I'd like to give a special mention to this blog by 'Iggyo' which is a good read, well worth checking out.

Best Moment On PokerStars by Iggyo

Back for more WBCOOP adventures tomorrow but for now my bed is calling.


Thursday, February 28th -

The big day is just around the corner with the first of the WBCOOP events starting tomorrow, Friday and I'm really looking forward to it! There's another great promotion going on right now that will interest any of you cash game players. PokerStars are celebrating their milestone hands and the 95th billionth hand will be dealt in the next few days I reckon. If you are looking for some info on this then check out the News Post at PokerSchoolOnline.

I got a mention in at PokerStarsBlog this week which was really cool and made my day when a friend linked me to it. I've been reading some entries by others and there's some really good reads out there. Today's special mention goes to a blog I read from PokerSchoolOnline member 'Chilli 2 U' and it's well worth a look and you can find it here:

Enjoy and best of luck in the games ahead.



Tuesday, February 26th - 

Going to fire up a quick 6-Max grind shortly on PokerStars but first I'm going to list all the tournaments I hope to play in this year's WBCOOP. I took a good look at the schedule earlier and there's a nice mix of games this year and I'm hoping to bag a few SCOOP tickets as the week progresses. Here's the games I'm eyeing up at the moment:

March 1st - 18:00 EST - FL Badugi (Being playing a little Badugi lately so a deep run in this would get me off to a nice start!)

March 2nd - 18:00 EST - 8-Game Mix (Will need to do a little homework and brush up on some of the basic strategies)

March 3rd - 18:00 EST - PLO Hi/Low (This 6-Max tourney should be fun.)

March 4th - 18:00 EST - 7 Card Stud Hi/Low Turbo (Should be one heck of a wild ride)

March 5th - 14:00 EST - Pot Limit 5 Card Draw (Haven't played 5 Card Draw in ages so looking forward to this one.)

March 6th - 14:00 EST - NLHE Heads-Up (This will be the toughest game for me. Heads-Up is not one of my strong points.)

March 7th - 10:00 EST - Fixed Limit Holdem 6-Max (Should be more up my alley being the tight-nit that I am.)

March 8th - 18:00 EST - No-limit Omaha Hi/Low Turbo (This one being a turbo is in the hands of the Poker Gods.)

March 9th - 18:00 EST - NLHE Turbo (Straightforward enough, get the chips in good.)

March 10th - 10:00 EST - HORSE (Nothing like a little HORSE game to start off a Sunday grind)

March 11th - 10:00 EST - $5,000 GTD Main Event - Hopefully I make it there, good luck to all who do)

Played a little Badugi earlier in my Home Game club. Finished 3rd to another Paddy, luck of the Irish eh, and congrats to 'mcasda' for taking it down tonight!

And just to close off today's post I'd like to mention a great blog entry by PokerSchoolOnline member 'joy7108' which you can view here:

My Best Moment on PokerStars by 'joy7108'

Why not drop by to her blog and leave a few words of encouragement for her, I think it's a great blog.

Back with another update tomorrow.



Monday, February 25th -

If you haven't seen this already it's a You-tube video by PokerStars Team Online player Dale Phillip aka 'Daleroxxu'. Dale won the WBCOOP 'Best Blogger' a few years back and is a formidable opponent on the Pot Limit Omaha tables. In this video he tells us what the WBCOOP is all about, enjoy!


My Greatest PokerStars Moment - plus many more to come!

And so another year of my life has swept around almost too fast and it’s back, the World Blogging Championship of Online Poker. If you are reading this and don’t know what’s it’s all about then I seriously suggest checking it out and you’ll find all the details on the PokerStars promotion page for the WBCOOP 2013 and good luck to all who enter this year.

This is probably the one PokerStars promotion that will always have a very special place in my heart. I won the ‘Best Blogger’ award last year and without a shadow of doubt this has been my greatest moment playing on PokerStars. The day that the winners from last year were announced will always remain very vivid in my mind and I’ll never forget it. As a micro-stakes player I fired up some 1/2 cent tables on PokerStars and only a few minutes into the session my twitter feed went crazy with all these congratulatory tweets coming in to me. At first I thought that these guys were saying well done on winning some SCOOP tickets I was tweeting about and it was only until a friend of mine linked me to a tweet from the official PokerStars twitter account did it finally hit home.

The Tweet From PokerStars Last Year Letting Me Know I Had Won

When I entered last year I didn’t expect to win in a thousand years and I set out with two main objectives in mind. The first was to give some of the prize-money to a local hospital for sick children should I win as my own little girl still goes there for eye check-ups. For me personally I always like to be able to give a little back and I’m a firm believer in karma, what’s goes around comes around. The other thing I wanted to do with last year’s entry was promote PokerSchoolOnline which is PokerStars very own English speaking poker school. I help out there as a moderator and there are tons of really cool people there posting every day in the forums and even blogging in the blog section. It’s not just for beginners either and there’s some great discussion for the more advanced players as well plus tons of free poker training videos for you to enjoy.

Paul & Aoife Jones Making A Donation To Susan Bradley Of Temple Street Hospital

So, without further ado, I present to you my entry to this year’s WBCOOP. Again like last year I’m going to set myself some personal objectives for this year’s championship and in a way it will be a little similar to last year except maybe a little more adventurous. Similar to last year I again want to give a little back to the community and this is important to me and I think for as long as I enter the WBCOOP I will probably do something like this. The promotion runs this year from March 1st – March 11th 2013 and here’s what I’ve set myself as my personal goals and targets for this year’s WBCOOP.

My WBCOOP Trophy From 2012
     1.       Every day from March 1st – March 11th I will find and complete one really ‘nice thing to do’. It’s doesn’t have to be something world changing but even the smallest gesture can make a world of different to somebody else. This will be my personal challenge during this year’s WBCOOP.

     2.       Find a great blog from another player who has entered the WBCOOP and leave an encouraging comment on their blog as well as sharing it via social media. I’d encourage everyone who has entered to do this and who knows, maybe they will come check out your blog and return the favour.

     3.       Play in the WBCOOP tournaments using my 10 free tickets kindly given to me by PokerStars for entering and update my blog at the end of each day with my results. I’ll use the free PokerSchoolOnline hand replayer to post some interesting hands here in this blog at the end of each day.

So that’s my entry, if you haven’t decided to enter yet then I really suggest you do. There’s every chance that YOU could be crowned this year’s ‘Best Blogger’ and even if we don’t win the overall awards getting the 10 tickets for entering is bonus enough for me. Keeping a blog is a great way to share your poker adventure with others and you’ll be sure to pick up many friends along the way. 

To all who enter I wish you the very best of luck and let’s get this party started!



  1. Another great entry this year, well done! I admire your commitment to giving back and doing good. Keep up the good work


  2. Cheers Lane,

    Thanks for the nice comment ;) Very much appreciated!


  3. Impressive Raiser! I like the concept you have going here. I try do be kind, but you actually do the deeds. You have inspired me to do at least one good deed today, which is a start. One day, one deed, one step in the right direction.

    Good stuff!

    Roland GTX

    Thanks for mentioning mine too :)

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